This summer our pastors have been doing a sermon series on Max Lucado's book Cast of Characters. Recently the subject was Joseph from the Old Testament. You remember, the guy who was sold into slavery by his brothers and taken down to Egypt.
If anybody had a right to be angry, Joseph did. But he kept his faith even through the worst of times--and there were plenty of them.
As part of his message, our pastor shared several noteworthy quotes about anger. Here are some he mentioned plus a few I've come up with:
Aristotle: Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.
Will Rogers: People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.
Albert Einstein: Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.
Alfred A. Montapert: Every time you get angry, you poison your own system.
Colin Powell: Ged mad, then get over it.
Elizabeth Kenny: He who angers you conquers you.
I confess, anger sometimes gets the better of me--or should I say the worst. I get angry in traffic jams, angry when I make a stupid mistake, angry when anything doesn't go exactly as planned.
We could all take a lesson from Joseph, though. After he'd been promoted to second-in-command in all of Egypt and had saved thousands from famine, he finally had the chance to confront his jealous, conniving brothers. But he didn't seek revenge. His response was simple:
"You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good."
As our pastor said, we can look at life through a microscope and focus only on the immediate problem, or we can use a wide-angle lens and look for the good God is already achieving through the midst of our trials. Not always easy to do, but it does help put things in perspective.